12 Styling Secrets To Rock Your Fireplace Mantel Decor

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

It’s January. The holidays are over. Time to take down the decorations. (although, as far as I’m concerned, you may leave them up as long as you like)

Uh oh.

Things are looking mighty bare over on that thar fireplace.

I’ve written about fireplace mantel decor before, but I’m revisiting it because a lot of people keep asking for ideas. Since it’s January 10th, what better time!

This time, I’m including not only new inspiration but I want us to examine exactly how the stylists do it so we can get ours to look just as good.

We’ll also look at what doesn’t work.

Oh before I go on, I need to be a snobbish snotface.

The word is MANTEL

 

not mantle.

thank you. :] I feel better now.

 

I always love to look at old, fine art for reference and inspiration in all matters decor.

 

Madonna of Fireplace an Gossaert called Mabuse

Attributed to Jan Gossaert, called Mabuse (Flemish, 1478-1532), Madonna of the Fireplace, ca. 1500

I believe this is supposed to be the Blessed Mother. I thought they lived in Israel. Oh, never mind. Maybe it was northern Israel. :] But let’s take a closer look at Mary’s fireplace.

MadonnaofFireplacean Gossaert called Mabuse copy

What on earth? I know that this means something and before I get myself in some hot mikvah, if you know, please do share!

Marriage_A-la-Mode_2_The_Tête_à_Tête_-_William_HogarthMarriage A La Mode by William Hogarth c.1744

Hogarth’s masterpiece depicting a marriage clearly in shambles brought on no doubt by a life of debauchery. Ahhh… the idle rich…

Let’s take a closer look at what’s doing with their fireplace mantel decor

 

Marriage_A-la-Mode_2,_The_Tête_à_Tête_-_William_Hogarth copy

whoa dude!

Quiringh_van_Brekelenkam_-_A_Couple_Having_a_Meal_before_a_Fireplace_-_WGA03171Quiringh van Brekelenkam – A Couple Having a Meal before a Fireplace c. 1660

No mantel at all… no decor, no money, barely any fire, a simple meal, yet they seem so content.

food for thought…

Young Lady at the Fireplace - by Wladyslaw Czachorski, ca. 1882

Young Lady at the Fireplace – by Wladyslaw Czachorski, ca. 1882

Clearly, she has just located her Iphone! Not much to see on the mantel, but I just had to post this because of the colors and that tapestry!

helen-allingham-fireplace-decorHelen Allingham (1848-1926) “In The Nursery”

Charming water-color artist. Here the mantel is looking more familiar. Very Victorian!

Alright. I’m not sure what we learned from that which can help us in terms of our fireplace mantel decor. But no worries— it’s all coming! Our fireplaces are largely decorative, of course. We don’t usually use them to heat the entire home or cook the family meals. Well, unless you’re feeding the family a diet of fireplace s’mores! haha!

via pyknic

Alright. Time to get more serious!

Below is a mantel that I painstakingly “erased” that which lay upon it.

nelson-hancock-photo-mantel

 

Before we get started decorating our mantels, there are several things to consider

 

  • the over-style of the room. Is it ornate, minimal, boho, modern, traditional…?
  • the over-all architecture. The mantel should be an integral part
  • is the mantel the primary focal point? Is there competition from an adjacent bookcase, window or something like that? Rooms are about balance. Therefore it’s always important to think of each element as it fits into the entire scheme.

90% of the time, a good motto for fireplace mantel decor is less is more

  • the fireplace mantel decor should complement the other furnishings and colors and vice versa
  • consideration should be given to the entire fireplace mantel wall. What’s going on either side and how does that fit in?
  • Thinking in threes. This is a little difficult to explain because there are a multitude of ways that something can be a part of a trio. Like three gold frames but one is a mirror and then something silvery like the mirror. Or three basic colors used. Or different pieces but in only one or two colors.  What’s not good is having elements like gold, wood, glass, art, mirrors, ceramics, a piece of drift wood and your son’s hockey trophy all on one mantel. There’s no connection.
  • a little layering is usually good, but over-crowding is a no-no. And it is EASY  to overcrowd. Mantels aren’t usually that big!
  • breathing room at the end of the mantel. Just like with a piece of art, I would not place anything right on the edge. If it’s right at the edge, it’s too big or it needs to move over. How much over? I think it should not go past the overhang of the shelf, for the most part
  • avoid lots of ditzy small things. Better to have one large glorious statement piece!
  • balanced symmetry is always the most pleasing. This does not mean identical twins necessarily left and right of center, but visually balanced.
  • Careful editing. When in doubt. Leave it out!

First are some examples where I think they missed the boat but could’ve made it with further editing.

If this is your room or you know who did it, my aim is never to embarrass anyone. This is only my opinion and I don’t expect everyone to agree. My sole aim is for us to learn. I am learning along with you! Styling is not the same thing as interior design. Yes, there’s overlap but they are separate skills! It’s like there are surgeons and then there are neurosurgeons!

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 4.58.17 PM

This is a very clever idea, I think,  and it isn’t terrible, but there are just too many clocks for one fireplace mantel! And I think that there are too many little books. It looks a little cluttered. Otherwise the color scheme is good and they adhered to the rule of threes in terms of color and number of types of elements.

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Some great ideas and I love every element here but not all together. It’s more than three. I don’t think that the mirror is the right shape for this mantel, the big blue and white porcelain is too large.

First, I would remove all of the candle sticks. It would be okay to have two or three lower votive candle holders, I think. I love the obelisk, but again, it’s competing with the vase flowers behind. But, I would replace the strange white leaves with some pretty chartreuse hydrangeas possibly.

And then, I think I would prefer to see two white vases and leave the blue and white for the small pieces. We would have unity in terms of color and kinds of items. You can have more than three different types of items if they are unified by color.

Controlled clutter-mantel-decor

Hey, I’m the queen of dead plants, but the entire mantel is like what my old one looked like. (no, you cannot see a photo. It’s that bad! lol) Stuff just thrown up there. Keepsakes.

Okaaaaaaaaaaay. fine. Here it is. The proof.

goldens-bridge copy

bookcase-christmas (1) copy

There. From a few weeks ago. Hopefully redeemed! Yes, that’s the same painting which I got years ago in Tiverton Four Corners, Rhode Island.

Where were we? Oh yes, the ditsy crap on the dead plant mantel and the little ditsy art. We can keep the small pieces for an art wall, but we need a couple larger pieces to make it feel more substantive.

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This one is from a store which is why there are tags. I love all of the ceramic pieces and the books. The candle sticks make for too many elements, so I would take them away. Oh, and definitely the fan! lol The dead twigs would look better with something flowering. It’s fine to do silk. Then, I would add another ceramic bowl either in green or blue.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 5.57.26 PM

Double decker tag sale look. This is such a shame because almost every element on both shelves is wonderful. Love the vintage art pieces! I would put the wedding photo elsewhere. Less art and less chachkas!

There are times when just one thing is appropriate.

 

nelson-hancock-photophoto: Nelson Hancock

This is a perfect example. We have an exquisite antique carved fireplace mantel. Imagine junking up the top of it.  We could add some elegant sconces or candle sticks and that would be all I would do here!

jessica-goranson-Photo by-Patrick-Cline-fireplace-mantel-decorphoto: Patrick Cline for Lonny

Are we all in agreement that this exquisitely styled fireplace mantel by Jessika Goranson is perfect, perfect, perfect!?! Below is a close up. And here is why. She used the rule of THIRDS. Please notice the number of threes. This is subliminally pleasing to the eye. And this rule goes for ALL styling and design in general. It’s a wonderful rule of thumb to adhere to!

In addition, the rest of the room echos the design elements of the fireplace mantel. Or maybe it’s the other way around! Spectacular room!

fireplace-mantel-decor-jessica-goranson

BLOG_PeterMillerRome_one-kings-lane-mantel-decorPeter Benson Miller via One King’s Lane

Love the vintage creamware . I think a large collection is fine if that is ALL it is. That is a rich look!

josie-moran-artfully-walls-meredith-aitken-print-fireplace-mantel-decor-white-mantel-white-wallsJosie Moran Via Lonny – Art by Artfully Walls

A few special art pieces make for a satisfying display on this lovely mantel.

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mydomaine.com-fireplace-mantel-decorLonny

I love this! It looks lived in and loved. Slightly Boho and just a chill room to hang out and read, watch TV or chat.

one_kings_lane_jeffreybiluber_fireplaceJeffrey Bilhuber

For more of Jeffrey’s unique and awesome home please click here.

Jeffrey’s work is always cool and innovative. Love the little lamps on the mantel. It’s difficult to see, but there are little outlets behind each lamp! Since there isn’t much room overhead, most of the mantel decor is on the wall. Really well-done! Love the red inside of the cabinet!

sheila-bridges-new-york-home-04Above and below by the wonderful Sheila Bridges

Sheila can do no wrong in my book. Everything she does is exemplary. She innately understands the rule of thirds.

BLOG120115_SheilaBridges_2

Superb display and just right in every way! Oh, why isn’t there a matching sentry on the other side? I don’t know but a little quirk is often what’s necessary. Also, we can’t see the entire room so there maybe another element balancing that out.

fireplace mantel decor photo-Amy Neunsinger-mark-d-sikes-hbx-carved-fireplace-1211-deMark D Sikes

photo: Amy Neunsinger

An oft-posted image like Jessika Goransons and for good reason. It’s absolutely perfect. Just the right amount of layering, unity in color and form.

one kings lane_carolyne roehm_MANTLE WITH MIRROSCarolyne Roehm

This is a wonderful example of how the fireplace mantel decor integrates beautifully with the adjacent walls as part of a total composition.

Manuel Rodriquez-photo-dransfield-and-ross-one_kings_lane_lavender_thumb3Designed by Hal Williamson via House Beautiful

How pretty is this! Very simple decor is all this mantel needs. The black marble really grounds the other elements! But something I want to point out! Notice the variation in the wall color?

 

This is exactly why it’s so important to test your colors and put them on a separate board that can be moved around so that you can see all of the different variations of the color better. The color, is Benjamin Moore DRIFTSCAPE TAN 2106-50. It is darker than it looks here which is often the case with wall colors in photos.

JK-place-capri-fireplace-mantel-decorFrom the JK Place Capri by Michele Bonan.

This is where I would like to live.

RoomsToInspireByTheSea_p157-india-hicks-fireplace-mantel-decorIndia Hicks

Okay, I love India Hicks. Very stylish. Very rich. Gorgeous home. It’s the old-money-I-don’t-care-if-the-sofa-hasn’t-been-reupholstered-in-25-years-look-just-because…

I adore this vignette! But please just tell me why she has a palm tree growing out of her fireplace that’s sitting precariously close to the edge in a very large glass vase? Alright, I realize that I’m going out on a long palm frond here. After-all… who am I to question something that was published in a book by decorating royalty?!?

 

 

I’m concerned for your safety is why.

 

 

You have to understand. I raised two HELLIONS. Sure, go ahead and laugh. You have no idea. You may think you do, but you don’t. Alas, I’m alive to tell the tale.

barely. (to be clear, I love my two monsters insanely. They are handsome, very talented young men now! And safe to take out in public!)

If this was in my home while they were growing up, the room would be covered with palm fronds, water and thousands of shards of broken glass.

Besides, isn’t it just too overbearingly huge?

Maybe India thinks so too? Me thinks a stylist stuck it up there so we would be sure to understand that this is her ISLAND home.

domino-india-hicks-2

This is also India. Love this room! Total redemption! It’s old-guard and yet totally fresh. It’s subtle, but it’s things like the lamp, painted bergere and the rug. The mantel decor is perfect.

saskias havekasSaskias Havekas

Well, we have the rule of thirds, unity of color and form. Besides it’s a Paris apartment.

It’s romance personified.

I could move there right now and I wouldn’t change a thing!

Happy Sunday!

xo,

Laurel

  • Rebecca - January 13, 2016 - 9:20 AM

    Your blog is such a favorite!

    Sometimes I learn and sometimes I just enjoy. When I found your site I tried to go back to the beginning. I am not sure if I ever made it or not.

    Photos in magazines are interesting. Cropping and room angle can make such a difference. Sometimes the whole of a room is better than the sum of the parts, other times it is the opposite when standing in the actual room.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 13, 2016 - 9:56 PM

      Hi Rebecca,

      Thank you so much! I very much enjoy writing it! You’re so right. Photos can be very deceiving! And in the magazines, they style them like crazy to make them look really amazing. Sometimes I imagine taking out all of the plants and stuff and the room then falls a little flat. Very interesting.ReplyCancel

  • Sheryl - January 12, 2016 - 1:13 PM

    You have the most educational blog…easy to understand, tons of photos to support the information, professional knowledge. You are so giving! And I thank you for your sharing every time I read your blog!
    For the first time in my life, we do not have a fireplace mantel and I really miss it. Would you offer suggestions to make a focus to place decor on? I love the beveled mantels, the Phillipe and baroque mirrors, a French attitude and not too many items.

    Suggestions for a mantel-like piece? Merci!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 12, 2016 - 4:23 PM

      Hi Sheryl,

      Thank you so much!

      Actually, you can still have a mantel even if there is no fireplace. I considered doing that in my apartment but in the end went with a large cabinet instead.

      To really make it look authentic, the wall would need to be built out (furred out we call it) and then you could create a cavity of sorts inside. It doesn’t have to be deep but you could put candles inside. I think there are also these flamey things which like faux fire.

      Short of that, you could also do a chest, sideboard or console and then style above the table. The decor on the table would not be vastly different except you would have more depth. There’s also a post here on styling console tables. https://laurelberninteriors.com/2014/02/01/styling-ideas-for-tables-chests-consoles/ReplyCancel

  • Pamela - January 11, 2016 - 4:50 PM

    Each week when I read your blog post, I have this mantra in my head “we are not worthy, we are not worthy”. GREAT article! Even in my ripe old design age, I am challenged by the manTEL. Best!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 11, 2016 - 6:19 PM

      Oh Pamela,

      Of course you are worthy my beautiful friend!!! I can’t tell you how much the blog has helped *me* as a designer. I try to mix it up to be a combination of paint which is by far the most popular topic to topics such as this one that are like a paper cut. lol And then there are things that people don’t know that they don’t know/debunking common myths. :] and just stuff I think is interesting.

      Yes, it’s all really time-consuming, but I have the time now and besides I love it! Happy New Year!ReplyCancel

  • Susan - January 10, 2016 - 4:55 PM

    Love the mantel post. Definitely time for a redo following the holidays.

    Now, niceties out of the way, although beautiful, many of the arrangements make me crazy with the tallest elements right on the edges. Just as you commented about the India Hicks mantel with the palm, I just want to scoot those edge-hugging items in a little. To me, it just feels more pleasing to the eye and relieves the feeling that I need to be ready to “catch” should they start to slide! Am I nuts or does anyone else agree?

    One more thing, the Hicks mantel is fab but I’d have much rather seen the palm tree on a stand or tall table too, so the other beauties don’t have to compete with it!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 10, 2016 - 5:47 PM

      Hi Susan,
      No, you are definitely not nuts! And it makes sense. The other thing I’ve discovered is what looks good in real life often doesn’t look as good in a photo. Photos magnify every error and create and create a situation that’s different from standing in a space. But that is a whole other subject!ReplyCancel

      • Val - January 10, 2016 - 8:12 PM

        Oh, yes, the photos can be deceiving and it is a very interesting topic. It would be great if you write a post about it (if you haven’t done it already of course – I am still browsing your wonderful blog and have a real pleasure reading it, xo)ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - January 10, 2016 - 8:41 PM

          Hi Val,

          I think you’re talking about doing a post about photographing interiors? I know that I have readers that are in the trade or related trades and some that just love interior design.

          What I’ve ascertained though, is that most designers don’t take their own photos. I’ve even heard some say that if you take your own photos, you’re nuts! That’s like saying it’s impossible to be able to be a designer AND a good photographer. I enjoy taking my own photos and really enjoy editing them.

          What’s funny is that of course, I am looking at thousands of photos and most of them were taken by professionals. I can’t tell you the number of times, I’ve had to color correct, sharpen, brighten AND straighten a so-called professional photo! Of course, many are gorgeous as they are, but certainly not all.ReplyCancel

          • Val - January 10, 2016 - 9:53 PM

            Yes, Laury, about photographing interiors – how to choose what should be in the photo, do you take pictures from different angles or different heights (like standing on a chair or kneeling down), do you have to remove objects from the scene because they would clutter the photo but in the real room they are OK. I think it could be a very interesting post.

            And the opposite topic – looking at a beautiful photo, how to get a better idea about the real room – its size, for example.

          • Laurel Bern - January 11, 2016 - 8:48 AM

            Hi Val,

            You and I would think it interesting, but unfortunately, the majority of readers probably wouldn’t. In the past when I’ve written about technical matters such as that, they’ve gotten a tepid response at best. There is information out there, however. Others have written about photographing interiors. I can’t think of any off-hand but maybe you could do a search on pinterest or google?

            When I photograph, I take lots of photos from different angles but often the best shots are when I crouch down and really get in there. If it’s going on for several hours, it’s a real workout!

  • Tricia Heliker - January 10, 2016 - 2:25 PM

    I really enjoyed this post and the photos. It was fun to think of ways I would rearrange the less desirable displays and, then, read your comments. I had three mantels in my home until three years ago when I removed one from the master bedroom. This post comes at the perfect time. I will be rethinking my mantel decor as I remove the holiday decorations. BTW, that first photo should grab everyone’s attention. What a stunning mirror, and so perfect for that mantel. My jaw also dropped on the painted mantel in pink! WOW and WOW! I did check the link on that one and found another photo that will be VERY helpful on a restaurant project I am working on now.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 10, 2016 - 3:31 PM

      Hi Tricia,
      How cool is that! I need to check out your blog! I know I’ve said this, but since I’ve been blogging, the last few years, especially the last 25 months, I have learned SO much! Through research, through thinking things through and explaining hopefully so that others will understand. Sometimes I think we just do things and don’t really think how we do it.

      Yeah, the pink one is fun! For years, everything around here was GOLD. gold with every shade of green under the planet (except for kelly). Gold with red. Gold with white. Gold only goes with pink if you are Windsor Smith or Miles Redd. LOL (I’m only half serious). But I’ve gained such an appreciation for so, many more colors!

      It’s funny, but in the last few years, have done a lot of yellow. It is purely coincidence. My apt. walls came yellow and then I had two “yellow clients” who love color!

      I could happily live in an all-white house punctuated with gold (as in metal) accents and bits of chartreuse and black. yummy!ReplyCancel

  • kathleen barry - January 10, 2016 - 12:19 PM

    I enjoy you! I enjoy your emails……I am not one that is hot on blog and such….thanks you for your inspirations!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 10, 2016 - 3:34 PM

      Hi Kathleen,

      Thank you so much! I am so grateful for the feedback and glad that you’re enjoying the posts. Every week, I think, oh that won’t take me too long.

      WRONG! I spent 14 hours on this post. I get so engrossed, that I’ll realize that it’s been 6 hours since I’ve had anything to eat or drink and my stomach is suddenly complaining bitterly. But that’s how much I love it!ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen - January 10, 2016 - 12:09 PM

    Laurel,
    What a lovely post! Mantel’s are always a bit difficult for me and you have displayed some lovely options. I must THANK YOU for speaking about the spelling of mantel…it is something that has always bothered me also!
    KathleenReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 10, 2016 - 12:49 PM

      Hi Kathleen,

      Thanks for stopping by! Of course, I’m opening a can of worms by pointing out spelling mistakes. I make my fair share of them, that’s for sure! Despite an editing program and reading and rereading numerous times, I always find more! ReplyCancel

      • Julie - January 11, 2016 - 7:57 AM

        I only mention this because you opened the can of worms lol, but if your only aim for us to learn, it would be your sole aim, not your soul aim …please forgive me for also being a snobbish snotface!!ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - January 11, 2016 - 8:42 AM

          Oh Lordy! Yes! Thank you! I just went in and made the change. Good catch! There are several words like that. Like roll and role, here and hear, discreet, discrete, breach and breech. And sometimes the same spelling of a word can have a very different meaning in a different context!

          Thank you again Jule!
          ReplyCancel

  • Debra - January 10, 2016 - 11:15 AM

    I enjoy your blog so much and love how you educate your readers with your research, visuals and great humor! Such wonderful examples of what to do and. I not do! I would love to see you do a post on decorating a mantel with a tv mounted above. I’m struggling with mine. Thanks for a wonderful blog!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 10, 2016 - 12:45 PM

      Hi Debra,

      I did do a post about decorating around the TV https://laurelberninteriors.com/2015/01/31/decorating-around-tv-20-inspiring-ideas/

      There are some mantels and lots of tables but of course, those are lower. A lot of the time, there isn’t enough room for anything but if one’s mantel is six feet or more, there probably is. If you look on my portfolio – first row, third image https://laurelberninteriors.com/laurel-bern-interiors-portfolio/ There’s the edge of the mantel and a bit of the TV. You can see that we staged it with some small Mercury glass objets. It was balanced but a little different on each side and we thought it looked just right.

      I should do another post one day about special situations like mantels that are super long or super high. I would also include TVs and also the hearth! ReplyCancel

      • Debra - January 10, 2016 - 2:51 PM

        Thanks so much and I will definitely check out that post! I’m fairly new to your blog, but I found it so helpful as we built our new house. Your paint color posts are what got me to your site and now I am hooked!!ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - January 10, 2016 - 3:39 PM

          Hi again Debra. My pleasure! I love writing the blog and helping people with their decorating problems! The first two years, I had no idea what I was doing and no one could find me. So, I had no idea if what I was writing was resonating. So, when I get this kind of kind feedback, it really helps me know what to write about as of course, it’s a very vast subject. The paint posts are definitely the most popular! xoReplyCancel

  • Kate - January 10, 2016 - 11:10 AM

    I loved this post! I have a really interesting mantel that I have never seen shown online. It’s a two-story living room but instead of the fireplace and mantel being set forward with two parallel walls set back on either side (that I’ve seen a lot) my flanking walls are ANGLED back. So I have a three-sided wraparound mantel! It’s wood and looks a lot like the one from Lonny Magazine you showed except my marble inlay is black. I found a fantastic post-Revolutionary mirror that is 12 feet tall that sits directly over the fireplace portion (it makes me laugh that people always think it’s French, not American) and sometimes I place strong, standalone objets (how do you do an accent mark in this Comment box?); sometimes I leave them bare. I’ve long thought about painting it a deep, dramatic accent color but have always erred on the side of inaction. Has anyone else ever seen one like this? What was done to it?ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 10, 2016 - 12:39 PM

      Hi Kate,
      Wow! I tried searching for that and came up with zilch. I would love to see that. The mirror sounds AMAZING! That must’ve been fun to put up. haha! But it all sounds quite dramatic. ReplyCancel

  • Gina - January 10, 2016 - 9:55 AM

    Hi! Thank you for the spelling lesson! I waiver every time; mantle – mantel. No more, thanks to you! I also quote you every time I’m looking at a natural fiber rug while trying to remember which one to avoid. “Sisal Sucks”. Easy enough.
    Thanks for today’s great post, too. I love your appreciation for old art!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 10, 2016 - 10:07 AM

      Hi Gina,

      In your defense, I see it misspelled more often than not which is why I felt compelled to set the record straight! It’s like ‘collectible’ often spelled ‘collectable’

      And yes, SISAL SUCKS! Unless it’s in someone else’s home in a magazine. haha! Speaking of spelling errors, my spell checker is always complaining about *else’s* it doesn’t like *elses* either. I looked it up and else’s is absolutely fine. So there! haha.ReplyCancel

  • Barb - January 10, 2016 - 9:08 AM

    Hi Laurel, I so enjoy reading your blog. Your writing is so colorful and fun and I’ve learned a ton!!

    I am currently helping a friend style her massive mantel. It’s huge! As in probably 15 feet long. It’s at the of a large room with cathedral ceiling. The entire fireplace wall is in a (very busy pattern, in my opinion) manufactured stone. She also has a large tv placed on the center of the mantel, something I dont agree with, but this isn’t my house! I don’t know the height of the wall but it’s VERY high. How on earth do you style around a tv? With a mantel this long, it’s very easy for the clutter to build up. I feel she may need a big ass “something” on either side of the TV that’s tall to “frame” it?? Also the stone and mantel are pretty dark and heavy. Did I mention the stone is busy to the eye?!
    Help please!!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - January 10, 2016 - 9:39 AM

      Thank you so much Barb!

      How good a friend is this? lol

      I mean, that’s not a mantel. It sounds like the great wall of China! And pretty hideous. It’s an extra challenge to make something like that look better.

      I do have a post here on TVs and there maybe something there. https://laurelberninteriors.com/2015/01/31/decorating-around-tv-20-inspiring-ideas/

      Also at the bottom of this post is a link to the other fireplace mantel post.

      Maybe this calls for some large floor urns of some kind to soften the faux stone. yuck. Good luck with that!ReplyCancel

  • Deirdre - January 10, 2016 - 9:07 AM

    I love your how to posts! You make me feel like I might actually be able to understand why something looks beautiful rather than just attempting to mimic a picture. I’m off to experiment with a collection of revere bowls. Would you consider doing a similar post for how to approach what goes on a buffet table in a formal dining room? You rock!ReplyCancel